ISSN 2399 -2840
THE AWESOME SCIENCE MAGAZINE FOR KIDS!
f y f r o e t s v Bl a disco
f o e g a y on a vo
Explore Saturn on board Cassini
Make a model of the solar system WWW.WHIZZPOPBANG.COM ISSUE 28
EXPERIMENTS PUZZLES AMAZING FACTS SCIENCE NEWS WPB028 P.1 cover.indd 1
Dear grown-ups, Welcome to WHIZZ POP BANG – the magazine bursting with enticing articles, mind-boggling facts and hands-on experiments to get your child hooked on science! Whizz Pop Bang is designed to capture your child’s imagination and help them to get excited about science. Every idea has been tested with kids and we’ve included the topics that interest them the most, whilst also introducing valuable science concepts. This makes Whizz Pop Bang a wonderfully useful resource for home educators. The magazine is also linked to the National Curriculum, so it will support children’s schoolwork as well. It’s not just science that your children will be learning either. Whizz Pop Bang will help with their literacy development too. Whizz Pop Bang is a gender-neutral magazine. Science is for girls just as much as it is for boys, so expect to find plenty of inspirational female scientists as role models and content that appeals to all children. Whizz Pop Bang is only available by subscription. If you haven’t subscribed yet, simply go to www.whizzpopbang.com and sign up for as little as £2.95 per magazine, including delivery. With the help of WHIZZ POP BANG magazine, just imagine what your mini-scientist might one day discover! All experiments have been tried and tested by our team. The activities should be done under close adult supervision and are done at your own risk. Launchpad Publishing Ltd cannot accept liability for damage done.
WHIZZ POP BANG is made by:
Editor: Jenny Inglis Deputy Editor: Tammy Osborne Editorial Assistant: Tara Pardo Designers: Claire Brisley and Cat Douglas Illustrators: Clive Goodyer and Simon Tegg Writer: Isabel Thomas Contributors: Nick Arnold, Tommy Donbavand, Dan Green & Joe Inglis Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company using only paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers www.magprint.co.uk
WPB028 P.2-3 Contents.indd 1
MEET THE GANG! Hi, I’m Emmi! This issue is packed with out-of-this-world facts!
Hello, Gakk here! All this ta lk abo ut planet s has g o t me th inking of home!
Hello, I’m Y. I’ve been running rings around Saturn with assini!
I’m Riley. I’d love to live in a Mars module like Dr Sheyna Gifford!
get IN TOUCH firstname.lastname@example.org Unit 7, Global Business Park, 14 Wilkinson Road, Cirencester, GL7 1YZ www.whizzpopbang.com facebook.com/whizzpopbangmag twitter.com/whizzpopbangmag
KEY You can make this at home Have a go at this fun activity Setting the record straight
For the super scientists out there Can you guess? Have a laugh Can you believe it?
Linked to the National Curriculum
Enter a competition
Super- fast science – try it now!
Our Eco Hero of the month
© 2017 Launchpad Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents of WHIZZ POP BANG without written permission is prohibited. Illustrations: © 2017 Clive Goodyer
Welcome! Ever wanted to experience life on another planet? Excitingly, NASA is planning to send humans to Mars in only around twenty years time – maybe it could even be you who first sets foot on our neighbouring planet! But since none of us can go there in person just yet, let’s zoom around the planets inside the safety of these Whizz Pop Bang pages instead. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… BLAST OFF!
Where you see this symbol, use a QR code reader on a phone or tablet to visit a relevant web page.
fi n d th e sc ie n ce eq u ip m en t
Hidden on each double page is a piece of science equipment. Circle each one to find the complete ki t!
WPB028 P.2-3 Contents.indd 2
Awesome News and Amazing Facts
NEWS In Depth
INTERVIEW WITH A MARTIAN (sort of!)
An eagle-eyed boy spots a museum mistake, robots that milk scorpions for venom, plus meet our Eco Hero NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has been whizzing around Saturn and its moons – get the mission report! Dr Sheyna Gifford lived in a dome for a year to find out what life might be like on Mars
PLAN A PLANET
HOW STUFF WORKS
TEN AWESOMELY AMAZING…
QUIZ POP BANG
jokes and Answers
Yeeowch! Vet Joe Inglis seeks out our prickliest garden visitor, the seriously spiky hedgehog Find out why planets are round and what’s so great about the Goldilocks zone! Make a solar system model and go crater crazy with your own amazing moon sand Complete the cosmic quest and you could win an awesome stars and planets set Remote-controlled cars are wheely good fun – and they’re great for exploring other planets too Whizz around the solar system with some out-of-this-world puzzles Deadly places in our solar system – from searing heat to violent volcanoes and raging storms Nicolaus Copernicus shocked the world with his bright idea – that the Earth orbits the Sun! Whizz Pop Bang’s very own robot, Y, answers all your science questions Test your knowledge with our super-duper science quiz Laugh out loud at some awesome jokes and find the answers to all of our quizzes, puzzles and riddles Take a closer look at the sixth planet from the Sun, the gas giant Saturn with its awe-inspiring rings
Awesome News & Kenya takes drastic plastic action This month’s Eco Hero is an entire country! In a bid to tackle the huge problem of plastic pollution, Kenya has introduced stiff penalties for producing, importing or selling plastic bags. Anyone found breaking the law could face four years in prison or a fine of £31,000. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to our planet, collecting in the oceans and harming wildlife. Kenyan shoppers were using up to 100 million plastic bags every year, with most ending up in landfill or in the world’s oceans, where they take around 500 years to break down. Kenya joins more than 40 other countries that ban or tax the use of plastic bags. Its government is encouraging people to carry shopping home in reusable cloth, paper or sisal bags instead.
The deathstalker scorpion is the most dangerous in the world, claiming 2,000 lives each year.
I think I’d rather milk a cow! Robots milk scorpions for poison Scorpion venom is known for its deadly effects, but in small quantities it can be used to make all kinds of life-saving medicines, including drugs that fight auto-immune diseases, malaria and even cancer. It’s an exciting area of research, but ‘milking’ scorpions for their venom is a difficult and dangerous job. Now a team of engineers in Morocco has designed a robot that can take over. The machine clamps the scorpion’s tail and gives it a tiny electric shock. Then it catches and stores the droplets of venom that appear, before releasing the scorpion safely.
10-year-old kid corrects dino display London’s Natural History Museum has corrected one of its dinosaur displays, after a young visitor spotted a mistake. Ten-year-old Charlie, from Essex, was taking part in the museum’s Dino Snores sleepover, when he noticed that a sign labelled oviraptor was illustrated with a protoceratops silhouette. It’s not the first time the dinosaurs have been mixed up. When palaeontologists discovered the first dinosaur eggs in 1922, they were thought to belong to protoceratops. A fossilised predator found nearby was called ‘oviraptor’ meaning ‘egg thief’. In fact, the eggs are now thought to belong to the oviraptor, who probably died protecting her nest.
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Amazing Facts Plants turn caterpillars into cannibals Plants can’t run and they can’t hide… so they have come up with all kinds of deadly defences against nibbling animals and insects. Now researchers have discovered one of the most cunning plans of all – get your enemies to eat each other! Tomato plants under attack release a chemical called methyl jasmonate. The scientists found that it encourages caterpillars to stop eating the leaves and start eating each other instead! Professor John Orrock of the University of Wisconsin-Madison explained that it starts with one caterpillar biting another on the bottom!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s got nothing on me!
© SHUTTERSTOC K
A wee-ly good idea?
Sweet secrets to success What has doughnut magic dust got to do with computer science? Creativity is one of the key skills for success in science careers, so top tech company Google decided to get some tips from the ‘new Willy Wonka’, Jami Curl. Jami blends creativity and science to create treats like strawberry cream soda, peanut butter hot fudge, marshmallow brownies, doughnut magic dust and popcorn ice cream, using only natural ingredients. She visited Google to share her delicious advice:
Jami’s top tips 1. Don’t just think about the end result – make the process great too. 2. Understand what each ingredient does, so you can tweak the recipe. 3. Don’t rush – give yourself enough time to get it done properly. 4. Learn from your mistakes. 5. Talking to other people will help you to come up with new ideas.
A team of US scientists are working out how to recycle human wee to create useful materials for long-distance space travel. Astronauts travelling to Mars and beyond would not have room to carry all the materials needed for the journey. But they would have plenty of wee! This could be used to feed a type of yeast, which can be genetically reprogrammed to produce vitamins and nutrients. It could even produce plastics, such as polyester, to be used for 3D printing tools or spare parts.
Tools have alr eady been 3D-printed aboard the International Space Stat ion. © NASA
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News in depth
As Cassini ends its 20-year mission in a blaze of glory, Isabel Thomas looks back at the discoveries made by one of the hardest working spacecraft in history.
s ' i n i s Cas Grand Finale Cassini was launched into space in 1997 – a time before MP3 players, Wikipedia or touchscreen phones. Luckily, the spacecraft was equipped with much better technology than the rest of us, ready to explore Saturn, its rings, and its many moons. Cassini
What to pack for 20 years in space
instruments to detect and analyse everything Cassini encountered – from cosmic dust to UV light
16 6 whizzpopbang.com Second Venus flyby WPB028 P.6-7 In Depth.indd 1
to land on the moon Titan
to steer the spacecraft
e of the best photographs. You can see som .gl/Pcc4vh goo e: Fam of Hall ini in the Cass
kilograms of propellants
Cassini Cassini took almost 500,000
to protect Cassini from high temperatures
to provide electrical power © NASA
Cassini successfully delivered the Huygens probe to Titan (the first landing on another planet’s moon). Huygens and Cassini made so many discoveries that scientists were itching to find out more. Cassini’s mission was extended twice, by beaming up new instructions for the onboard computer to follow.
2.5 million The number of commands that have been written and beamed up to Cassini
7 years Cassini's journey from Earth to Saturn
Enters Saturn’s orbit
Huygens probe parachutes onto Titan
Releases Huygens probe 22/10/2017 18:31
urn's sixth , Sat -l s u a
Saturn discovered by Cassini
re covered that Satu rn's ri n gs a rm n sta o f s t ntly ch These discoveries a n g i n g, s h o w i n g u s h o w p l a n e si n i dis
Titan or Enceladus. It would be a disaster if any stowaway microbes from Earth contaminated Saturn’s moons.
The Grand Finale In April 2017, Cassini began its ‘Grand Finale’. Six months of daring orbits saw the spacecraft dive through the 2,000-km gap between Saturn and its rings 22 times! That’s like steering a remote controlled car through the Grand Canyon – while sitting on the Moon, using the stars to help you navigate! © NASA/JPL-CALTECH/SPACE SCIENCE INSTITUTE
Mission extended (Equinox Mission)
Mission extended (Solstice Mission)
are clues that Titan and Enceladus could support alien life, either now or in the future. These aliens would look more like microbes than me, but future missions to these moons could help us to learn how life began on Earth.
7.8 billion km Total distance travelled by Cassini since launch This rollercoaster ride ended on 15 September 2017, as Cassini finally plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere, burning up like a meteor. Its final signal reached Earth 83 minutes later, the last pieces in an amazing data jigsaw that will keep scientists busy for decades.
WPB028 P.6-7 In Depth.indd 2
Cassini flew past Cassini detected a Titan 127 times, revealing a Moons of vast ocean hidden below world with rain, wind, rivers, Saturn the icy crust of Enceladus, lakes and seas. Before you pack and an even bigger surprise named your armbands, you should know – erupting geysers! These so far that the seas are not water but contained evidence of liquid methane, a.k.a. liquid cow chemical reactions deep farts! But scientists are very below the surface. excited, because a trip to Titan may be like travelling back in By 2017, Cassini time to Earth before was running low on the life evolved. propellants needed to keep it on course. NASA decided to crash the spacecraft into Saturn, to make sure Moons of it never crashes into
m st ge
es t m o o n i n t h
g la r nd
t ys rs
Saturn's moons turned out to be some of the most exciting places in the solar system
Grand Finale begins
Plunges into Saturn
Final Titan flyby
Mission to ‘Mars’ NASA plans to send humans to Mars for the first time in the 2030s, and many scientists think that within 50 years people will be living there! But what would it be like? In an experiment to find out, six humans spent a year living in a simulated Mars habitat designed to mimic the conditions of living on the red planet. The crew lived in a sealed dome on the side of a volcano in Hawaii, 2,500 metres above sea level, and had to wear spacesuits to venture outside.
Mars is red because the
soil contains iron oxide (AKA rust)
and the sky looks red instead of blue!
What is the Mars habitat like? The dome is like living inside a REALLY BIG soccer ball, about the size of a big three-bedroom apartment. Inside there are two floors. There’s the ground floor where the kitchen, laboratory/medical office, workout area, desks and storage space are, plus one bathroom. Upstairs are six tiny bedrooms.
interview with a... I talked to Dr Sheyna Gifford about the year she spent practising living on Mars!
What did you eat? We grew radishes, lettuce, grass (which is tasty and provides f ibre to help digestion) and some herbs. We sprouted sunf lower seeds – you put them in water until they sprout, then you just eat the sprouts. It’s crunchy and fun to eat. We also cultured food. This is when you take some bacteria and add it to milk to make yogurt and cheese. We also had freeze-dried food. You can freeze-dry almost anything, from blackberries to hamburger meat!
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Boxed images © Sheyna Gifford 2017. Background image © Shutterstock.com
How did you wash and go to the toilet? We took showers the way that explorers all over the world have since people started travelling: we took a little bit of water and a washcloth and wiped down. Once a week, we would take a quick shower, then use that water to wash clothes or clean the floor. Mars doesnâ€™t have a sewer system, so we used composting toilets. The poop goes in, gets mixed with sawdust and bacteria, and turns into dirt! This is how humans dealt with toilets for most of human history. Pee is mostly water and evaporates.
Could you communicate with your friends and family? Every time you look at something in the sky, you are looking backwards in time. Mars is so far from Ear th that signals take a long time to go back and for th. At best, you have to wait about four minutes for someone on Ear th to hear your voice message or receive your email. When Ear th and Mars are far away from each other, it can take 20 minutes! When Mars is on the other side of the Sun from Ear th, for a few days a year, the Sun blocks all communication.
ould Reader, what w u yo you take with Mars? if you visited ll me Write in and te m) g.co (Y@whizzpopban
Dr Sheyna Gifford is a physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University, in St. Louis. If you have any questions of your own for Sheyna, you can contact her on her blog, livefrommars.life
uld If it were possible, wo ? rs you want to visit Ma Certainly! Can I go there when theyâ€™ve got a nice big colony with lots of fun things to do and people to talk to? Can I bring my cat and my husband this time?
whizzpopbang.com 9 WPB028 P.8-9 Interview_Martian_v5.indd 9
Armed with thick gloves, our vet Joe Inglis is heading into the hedgerows and undergrowth in search of some particularly prickly creatures… Hedgehogs are spiny mammals found in Europe, Asia and Africa – there are no native hedgehogs in Australia or the Americas. There are 17 different species around the world and, despite their name, they are much more closely related to shrews than to pigs (or hogs as they are known in America).
Hedgehogs can walk 2 km per night looking UNTRUE for food. Answer on page 34
the number of spines a typical hedgehog has on its body.
Pr kly P gs
Hedgehogs use their spines to protect themselves from predators. Each spine is a hollow hair that contains a protein called keratin, which makes them super-stiff and strong. It’s the same material that makes your toenails hard, and it’s also found in bird beaks and tortoise shells.
I live in a hedge, but I’m no hog!
WPB028 P.10-11 Animal Antics.indd 1
reatures of the n ght
Hav ng a ball
As well as growing sharp spines, hedgehogs have another way of protecting themselves – they can roll up into a tight ball, tucking their head and limbs inside to become a ball of spikes that is very hard for predators to get into. This protection is very important for hedgehogs as they are on the menu for lots of other animals, including birds of prey, such as owls, badgers, foxes and ferrets.
After sleeping under a bush or in a nest deep in the undergrowth, hedgehogs come out at dusk and spend the night feeding. This nocturnal behaviour helps to keep them safe from predators.
P gg ng Out
Hedgehogs are omnivores, which means they eat animals and plants, and their favourite foods include insects, snails, frogs, toads, berries, mushrooms, eggs and even snakes!
B zarre Balloons
Hedgehogs can suffer from a very strange condition called balloon syndrome, where gas trapped under the skin makes them blow up like a balloon, sometimes to twice their normal size. Thankfully, if they are found in time, vets can treat them by making a hole to let the gas out.
Un er threat
It’s thought that in the last 10 years, nearly a third of the UK’s hedgehogs have died, mainly due to the loss of suitable habitats, such as hedgerows, and there are now less than a million left. If you’ve got a garden, there are some simple things you can do to make it a hedgehog haven:
Make a wilderness area in a quiet corner with wild plants, dead leaves and logs.
Get together with neighbours to make a hedgehog highway by making holes in your fences, allowing hedgehogs to roam freely.
Avoid using slug pellets as they can be poisonous to hedgehogs.
Put out meaty cat or dog food and water in a large plastic box with a hole in the side (so hedgehogs can get in but pets and foxes can’t).
You could also buy or build a hedgehog house. And remember, always check bonfires for nesting hedgehogs before setting fire to them.
whizzpopbang.com 11 ALL IMAGES © SHUTTERSTOCK
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PLA A Read on – it’s out of this world!
By Nick Arnold, author of the Horrible Science books
We all live on a very special planet. But what makes other planets so different? And why aren’t any of them square?
Gravity is a force produced by matter. It pulls on other matter. The matter that makes up an object is called its mass.
HAT IS A PLA ET? A planet is an object that circles the Sun (or another star). Its gravity is strong enough to pull it into a round shape and pull in any nearby rocks. Here’s how gravity makes a round planet...
Gravity pulls inwards in all directions
Take a piece of kitchen foil. Crumple it into a loose ball then squeeze it in your fist. Your fist is like gravity pulling a planet into a ball. Now you see why none of them end up square!
Calculate your weight on another planet You will need:
What you do:
1. Weigh yourself and write your weight in kilograms.
WPB028 P.12-16 planets.indd whizzpopbang.com
My weight on Earth: ______ kg Planet
Multiply weight by...
pulling on your body. Planets
gravity, so you weigh more
2. Fill in the table on the right to find out how much you weigh on other planets...
Your weight is gravity
with more mass have stronger on bigger planets.
Earth and other planets orbit the Sun. They’re all roughly spherical (ball shaped). The Moon orbits Earth, and most other planets have their own moons.
HO DO PLA ETS FOR ?
When scientists discovered more objects like Pluto, they decided Pluto wasn’t a planet after all! We now call them dwarf planets.
2. The cloud became disk-shaped
1. Our solar system started as a
and gravity caused matter to clump together in the centre.
spinning cloud of dust and gas.
4. The early planets smashed together to form bigger planets.
3. The matter in the centre formed the Sun. Other balls of matter formed and as they grew, their gravitational pull got stronger – this made them grow even bigger. They became planets.
Leftover rocks became moons and asteroids.
HY DO THE PLA ETS ORBIT THE SU ?
It doesn't want a second helping!
nc pl e o n an ets i ts ax is. ha v e lon ger year s.
en no r e u e t t for d ed for a planet to is tan it t d oo r bi t the Sun. More
WPB028 P.12-16 planets.indd 2
when the Moon's full?
The planets formed spinning around the Sun – and they carry on because of the balance between their momentum (which keeps them moving forwards and stops them crashing into the Sun) and the pull of the Sun’s gravity (which stops them flying off into space!).
ti the e y is n e e d A da e tim A year is the d
How can you tell
whizzpopbang.com 13 22/10/2017 18:51
Far from star
HY ARE PLA ETS DIFFERE T?
• Cold • More frozen gas/liquid • Bigger planet = more gravity • More moons
Planets vary for many reasons, starting with their distance from the star they orbit...
ear to star
• Hot • Made from rocks • Smaller planet = less gravity • Fewer moons
FOUL FACT Vampire stars suck gas from other stars and heat up. Imagine what one could do to a planet!
Bashes with other planets can alter a planet’s spin or tilt it over. Icy comets might also hit the planet and bring water to its surface to form seas.
HAT ARE ALIE PLA ETS LIKE? In our galaxy alone, there are at least 100 billion planets orbiting other stars. Scientists have found more than 3,000 so far. They can detect them because their gravity makes their star wobble slightly. Sometimes they see a planet transiting (passing in front of) a star. More than 100 planets are like Earth, but others are HORRIBLE!
On 51 Pegasi b it rains molten
Gravity on COROT-exo-3b is so strong that your bones would break .
Why is Venus so clever? She’s the brightest planet in the solar system!
Super-hot 55 cancri e is covered in killer steam. We call planets beyond our solar system exoplanets
Imagine how aliens would survive on these planets. What would they look like?
I call one of them home!
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There’s no proof that aliens exist, but it’s quite likely. At least one-sixth of stars have planets like Earth.
In 2013 scientists spotted a black hole eating an exoplanet. Any aliens would have been torn to bits by the black hole’s gravity.
Observe a transit You will need:
What you do:
1. Roll a 5 mm
Plasticine or sticky tack
ball of Plasticine
2. Stick the ball on the cocktail stick. 3. Close one eye and look through the
You will find: You see the ball as a dark shape. It looks like a planet transiting a star.
tube at a brightly lit pale wall.
4. Move the cocktail stick and ball in front of the tube opening.
Try this mnemonic to remember the order of the planets, starting from the Sun!
Mercury - My
HAT MAKES A PLA ET SUITABLE FOR LIFE?
Earth - Exciting
Mars - Magazine Jupiter - Jazzes
Saturn - Science
The most suitable planets for life are in the Goldilocks zone – just the right distance from their star, so that they are neither too hot nor too cold and can have liquid water and oxygen gas.
Uranus - Up
Neptune - Nicely
1) Saturn has a giant hexagon on its north pole
Venus - Very
2) The dwarf planet Haumea is shaped like a banana TRUE
3) No planet orbits more than one star
4) A year on dwarf planet Sedna lasts
11,400 Earth years
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AKE THE Earth’s atmosphere is a mix of nitrogen and oxygen, with small amounts of other gases, but the atmosphere on Mars and Venus is mainly carbon dioxide (or CO2), which is toxic for humans to breathe at such high concentrations.
ARTIA ATMOSPHERE! You will need: Vinegar (any kind) Bicarbonate of soda Balloon Plastic bottle (up to 1 litre) Teaspoon Funnel
What you do:
Adult supervision needed
You will find: The vinegar and bicarbonate of soda mixture will quickly start to bubble and the balloon will inflate! This is because the chemical reaction between the bicarbonate of soda and the acidic vinegar produces lots of carbon dioxide gas, which pushes upwards and into the balloon, blowing it up.
1. Pour 150 ml of vinegar into the bottle. 2. Using the funnel, pour 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda into the balloon. 3. Stretch the neck of the balloon over the top of the bottle, making sure that no bicarbonate of soda falls in. 4. Quickly lift the end of the balloon to pour the bicarbonate of soda into the bottle all at once. 5. Give the bottle a little shake!
PLA ETS O A PLATE !
Adult supervision needed
You will need: Adult helper A greased baking sheet You will find: You’ve made planets! The hot planets have bubbling lava (cheese). The plain potato planet is a desert world and the frozen planet is an ice world. The cooling blue planet is Earth. Why not arrange your planets on a black plate to make a solar system?
2 medium-sized potatoes Bowl and potato masher Liquid blue food colour Tomato ketchup Grated cheese Paintbrush and small container What you do:
1. Wash your hands. 2. Ask an adult to peel, chop and boil the potatoes until soft. When they are cool enough to handle, mash the potatoes until they are really smooth.
3. Use your hands to roll the mixture into planets, 3-5 cm across. 4. Roll some planets in grated cheese (not too much). Add ketchup to one to make it red. Mix the blue colour with a little water and brush onto two other planets. Leave one as it is.
5. Ask an adult to bake your red and cheesy planets in the oven at 190 °C
for 10-15 minutes. Put one blue planet in the freezer for an hour and leave the other to cool.
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Our solar system has eight known planets, which all orbit the Sun. You can make an awesome model, showing the planets in order of their distance from the Sun.
craft your own...
solar system You will need:
• Scissors • Sticky tape or glue stick
The model isn’t to scale because if you cut out a Sun measuring 10 cm across, the Earth at the same scale would measure less than one millimetre, and be placed 10.75 metres away!
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What you do: 1. Cut out the planets, the Sun and the connecting strips. 2. Attach one end of each connecting strip to the back of the correct planet with sticky tape or glue. 3. Attach the other end of the connecting strips to the back of the Sun, and youâ€™re f inished!
Why is Saturn so rich? Because it has lots of rings!
SUN Diameter 1,391,016 km
The Sun is so massive it contains 99.86% of the entire mass in the solar system. 18 whizzpopbang.com WPB028 P.17-20 Pullout section_Planets_v6.indd 18
4,495.1 million km from Sun, diameter 49,248 km
2,872.5 million km from Sun, diameter 50,724 km
1,433.5 million km from Sun, diameter 116,464 km
778.6 million km from Sun, diameter 139,822 km
149.6 million km from Sun, diameter 12,756 km
108.2 million km from Sun, diameter 12,104 km
57.9 million km from Sun, diameter 4,780 km
The distances between the Sun and the planets vary because of the planetsâ€™ elliptical (oval-shaped) orbits. Weâ€™ve used average distances on these strips.
A solar system is a star and all the objects that orbit around it. Our solar system, with the Sun at the centre, has eight planets, five known dwarf planets, 149 known moons (with another 25 possible moons being investigated), more than 715,000 asteroids, more than 3,400 comets, and countless meteoroids and smaller particles of debris, left over from when the solar system formed. Much of this debris can be found in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and the Kuiper belt beyond Neptune.
227.9 million km from Sun, diameter 6,780 km
Not to scale
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Make your own...
moon sand You will need:
What you do:
• 8 cups of f lour • 1 cup of baby oil or vegetable oil • Large, deep tray
Put the f lour on the tray and gradually add the oil. Mix well.
You should find: Your moon sand is easily moulded into different shapes. This is because the oil sticks the flour grains together by filling the air spaces between each grain. Make craters in your moon sand with round objects, or use a shoe to make a footprint like the ones left by astronauts on the surface of the Moon.
Mercury has ‘wrinkles’ called Lobate Scarps, up to a mile high
A day on Venus lasts longer than a year on Venus
The Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing, at about 17 milliseconds per 100 years
Mars has the largest known volcano in the solar system, called Olympus Mons
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a huge storm that has raged for at least 350 years
Saturn’s rings are made of lumps of ice and rock, some as small as a grain of sand, others as large as a house
Uranus’s axis tilts at almost 98 degrees, meaning it orbits the Sun lying on its side
A year on Neptune lasts 165 Earth years
Footprints left on the Moon by the first astronauts to land there in 1969 are still there, because there is no wind or rain to blow or wash them away.
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W ! IN
Can you spot the words below in this out-of-thisworld word search? The words are all vertical or horizontal (not diagonal), and may be written forwards or backwards. Once you have found them all, write down the letters that are left over to uncover the hidden phrase, and you could win an awesome Stars & Planets science kit.
ORBIT PLANET JUPITER
Write down the hidden phrase here:
WIN A STARS & T PLANETS SCIENCE KI This super Stars & Planets science kit from www.brightminds. co.uk includes fantastic experiments to help you find out the answers to some cosmic questions. It includes a moon phase flick book, knowledge wheel, moving solar system guide, star tube, model Earth and a 20-page activity book.
ISSUE 26 COMPETITION WINNERS
Cosmi sciencec kit Send your answer to email@example.com with ‘Cosmic competition’ as the subject of your email. Alternatively, post your answer to ‘Cosmic competition’, Whizz Pop Bang, Unit 7, Global Business Park, 14 Wilkinson Road, Cirencester, GL7 1YZ. Five lucky winners will be chosen at random. Please don’t forget to include your name, age and address. Deadline: January 10th 2018. No
Thank you to everyone who sent in their wonderful artworks to our terrific trees competition. Well done to these lucky winners, who each win an ecological greenhouse set from Kingstree, 7 www.science4youtoys.co.uk. Abigail
WPB028 P.21 Comp.indd 1
ah Davies, 6
Anna Bamford, 8
Maya Williams, 7
WORKS Radio control At the heart of a remote controlled (RC) vehicle is a radio transmitter and a receiver. Radio waves sent from the transmitter travel through the air to the receiver. Information encoded into the radio waves instructs the vehicle’s on-board machinery to move.
Whether you race them around the park or send them into space to explore an alien planet, remote controlled vehicles can work over vast distances.
Receiver An antenna picks up radio waves and passes them to a receiver. The receiver’s electronics are tuned to a particular frequency. They decode signals from the transmitter and send the commands to the hmotors.
Suspension Transmitter The transmitter sits inside the controller – that’s the part you hold in your hands. The transmitter’s electronic circuits convert your instructions into radio waves and send them out to the receiver.
Servomotors RC vehicles use a special kind of electric motor, called a servomotor. Instead of whirring around continuously, servomotors move in a series of steps, which allows them to spin to a precise position. This is how an RC car knows how far to turn the wheels when you steer it.
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CONTROLLED CARS Motor
Electric motors power the wheels forwards and backwards. RC vehicles achieve an amazingly complex range of motions with a surprisingly simple set of components.
Lightweight plastic body (Not to scale)
Long-distance driving Mars rovers are super-advanced RC vehicles. Because it takes so long for radio waves to travel from Earth to Mars (and back), it’s impossible to drive rovers across Mars’s surface with a joystick – the rover could have crashed before operators on Earth knew anything about it. Instead, they upload an entire day’s instructions to the rovers during the night.
A rechargeable battery pack or replaceable batteries provide power for the electronic circuits of the controller and vehicle.
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C I S O C
Find the answers on page 34!
Crater conundrum Connect the numbers on the Moon from 1 to 10 with one unbroken line.
5 2 6
Emmi and Riley have been zooming around the solar system! Starting from the rocket, can you find the flight path they took from Earth?
Cosmic cryptogram Can you crack the code and uncover the names of the planets below? Weâ€™ve revealed two on the right to get you started. Each time you have an answer, add the new letters to the key below, to help you find the rest.
F G H
V T R M P E A R T H
K L M N O P Q T
X T R Y M A R S
T U V W X Y Z
1 X V R O G R K 2 O V D G Y 3 Z G U N M V R 4 Y T M G R D 5 G R T D G Y _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _
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issing planets Find the correct planets for the empty spaces on the grid. When you have finished, there should be only one of each planet in a row and a column. Write your answers in the box.
Riddles 1) I am the beginning of eternity and the end of time and space, I’m the beginning of the Earth and I surround every place. What am I? 2) This is something you can look through, although it’s not a bubble. There is a large one out in space which has the name of Hubble. What is it? 3) I am something in the sky That seems to shine at night. However, I am not a star, I am Earth’s satellite. What am I?
WPB028 P.24-25 Puzzles.indd 2
I was up all night
wondering where the Sun went, then it dawned on me!
. .. g in z a m A ly e m o s e w A 10
n i s e c a l p s u o l Peri ar sys tem? Fancy seeing the sights of our sol sly end… Be warned – you might meet a gri
Pop a hard hat on before setting foot on Mercury. It’s the most pockmarked planet because there is no atmosphere to burn up meteorites, and no weather to erode impact craters!
The greenhouse effect is so strong on Venus, you’d be roasted by temperatures twice as hot as an oven before you had time to say, “Where’s the ice cream sta…?”
If the smell of rotten eggs doesn’t put you off visiting Jupiter’s moon Io, the violent volcanic eruptions might. Io is the most volcanic place in the solar system.
Though it no longer rains on Mars, not everything is rosy on the red planet. Mars’s atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide, which would suffocate most living things.
Robots can breathe easy!
Saturn’s sparkly rings would NOT make a good landing pad. They are made of billions of chunks of ice and rock, hurtling around the planet at thousands of kilometers per hour! © NASA
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! m e t s y s r a l our so
Imagine if the air suddenly froze and fell to the ground as snow! This is exactly what happens to Pluto’s atmosphere as it moves further away from the Sun.
Landing on asteroids is the next big thing, but don’t stay too long. Collisions in the asteroid belt are frequent, with an average impact speed five times faster than a rifle bullet! No wonder the space rocks are gradually being ground down into dust.
k Spot The Great Dar e enough rg was a storm la whole! h rt Ea to swallow
Don’t set up camp on a comet. Every time it passes close to the Sun, a bit more of the surface is boiled away until it completely disappears!
Giant asteroid Ve sta may bear the scars of a huge collision
Neptune is the windiest place in the solar system, with storm gusts of up to 2,400 kilometres per hour.
If you visit Earth, watch out for the damage caused by humans. Thanks to pollution, deforestation, overpopulation and global warming, Earth could be © SHUTTERSTOCK heading towards the sixth mass extinction in its history – unless people change their ways.
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Copernicus Have you noticed the Sun rise in the east and travel across the sky to set in the west? Isabel Thomas explores the brilliant mind that realised it’s actually Earth doing the moving! Copernicus was studying to become a priest like his uncle when he fell in love with astronomy. In the late 1400s, it wasn’t a science at all. People studied the movements of stars and planets to try to predict the future.
Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Poland in 1473
I worked for the church, but I read ancient books about astronomy in my spare time. n I became an expert, and was eve invited to help redesign the calendar!
ense, s e k a m o t d e It seem k ted by e e r so it was accenpe for the Ancient G tted the plo almost everyo0 years. astronomerss of objects next 1,00 movement nd came to in the sky, aion that the the conclus and stars Sun, Moon nd Earth. moved arou tric model This geocensystem put of the solar e centre of Earth at th verse! the Uni
Copernicus didn’t think it was very likely that thousands of stars were spinning around Earth every day. He gradually came up with a new theory….
I proposed that it’s the Sun, not Earth, at the centre of the the universe! Earth travels around Sun each year, and spins on its own axis once a day!
WPB028 P.28-29 History.indd 1
But Copernicus still had lots of questions to answer – like how can Earth be moving when it feels like it’s staying still? These worries might explain why he didn’t publish his theory for another 36 years! Some also believe he was worried about angering the powerful Catholic Church by saying that Earth was just one of many planets.
Copernicus’s model was called the heliocentric model – helios is Greek for sun. TRUE
Copernicus was the first to suggest that the Sun lay at the centre of the solar system.
Answer on page 34
The old theories are like a picture of a human with the arm legs and head in thes, wrong places. It has the right bits, but itall looks like a monster My new theory of th ! universe works beca e it puts all the planetsuse in the right order.
The structure of our solar system wasn’t discovered in one go. Ideas developed slowly over time, as astronomers such as Ptolemy, Ibn al Haytham (see Issue 21), Copernicus and Galileo built on earlier ideas and observations.
Copernicus’s book was published in the same year that he died. It didn’t sell many copies at first, but it gradually came to be seen as the most important book in the history of astronomy! Although Copernicus didn’t get everything right – the Sun is NOT at the centre of the whole universe – his ideas changed the way that astronomers studied the skies. Over the next 100 years, astronomers began to challenge the old ideas and to look closely at what was really happening.
The chemical element Copernicium (Cn) is named after Copernicus
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We love your magazine, we are home educated, and we use Whizz Pop Bang a lot! If an animal ate a frog that had a toxin in him that was bad for other animals, would that make the frog poisonous or venomous, because he was eaten and did not inject the poison.
From Maria and Kevin I made the campfire S’mores with marshmallows and choccy biscuits and they were delicious!
From Erick, aged 7
Our very knowledgeable robot, called Y, would love to hear from you. Please send in your experiments, ideas, photos, jokes and questions. Every month, the writer of our star letter will receive an awesome Whizz Pop Bang binder, perfect for storing a whole year’s worth of magazines. To buy a binder, go to www.whizzpopbang.com/shop.
Dear Maria and Kevin, thank you so much for your amazing homemade slime photos! Poison dart frogs are some of the most poisonous animals in the world, but they don’t use their poison if they can help it. Their super-bright colours and patterns warn predators to stay away! Their poison – which comes from the insects, mites and millipedes they eat – is stored in glands beneath their skin. While poisonous animals have to be eaten or touched to do damage, venomous animals deliver their toxins by biting or stinging. In 2015, scientists discovered the first species of venomous frog, which delivers a ‘kiss of death’. It injects a toxin by using spikes on its lips.
My name is Sam and I made the peregrine falcon from issue 24. It’s great when I fly it!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Post Y, Whizz Pop Bang, Unit 7, Global Business Park, 14 Wilkinson Road, Cirencester, GL7 1YZ We can’t return any post, so if it’s precious please only send a photocopy.
WPB028 p.30-31 Letters_v3.indd 30
Star letter Dear Y, I hope you like my drawing. There’s a volcano erupting and a science tube with lava in. There are 2 sheep, they are brothers. One knows science and the other doesn’t.
From Chloé Corrin, aged 6
? Dear Y, After reading about Harry the driverless vehicle, I was wondering would the vehicle pollute the air more or less than a normal car? Thank you!!
From Maisy, aged 11 Harry is an electric vehicle, powered by a battery. Unlike petrol and diesel engines, electric vehicles don’t release any air pollution as they drive. If they replaced petrol and diesel vehicles, electric vehicles could help to clean up the air in a certain area. However, if the electricity used to recharge the battery is produced in a power station that burns coal or natural gas, the air will still be polluted elsewhere. The great thing about electric vehicles is that, one day, all the electricity used could come from wind or solar or water power. To make them truly ‘zero emissions’, the methods used to make the vehicles and batteries must also be environmentally friendly.
Hi Y, How are you? My question is how long does it take a light to turn on after flipping the switch.
From Clara, aged 6 Hi Clara, Thanks for the joke and brilliant question. The answer depends on the type of light bulb that you are switching on. Imagine that your ‘wire’ is a long piece of hosepipe filled with marbles. The marbles are like the electrons inside the wire. When you push on the marbles at one end, all the marbles in the tube move at the same time. In the same way, electricity flows through the whole wire and the light bulb as soon as you flip the switch. Power reaches the light bulb almost instantly, no matter how long or short the wire is. However, different types of light bulbs take different amounts Why did the of time to respond, banana go to which is why some the doctor? lights come on more Because he wasn’t quickly than others. peeling well.
Sent in by Clara
In Issue 24, we asked you if driverless vehicles were a good idea. Thank you for all your letters!
ASK Yes, I would like to own a driverless vehicle because my mum wouldn’t have to do any driving. It would drive it itself, mum wouldn’t be as tired, and we could play games, like Monopoly!!!
From Ben, aged 7
Because you can chat and listen to the radio and don’t have to concentrate.
From Saskia Ogier, aged 6
WPB028 p.30-31 Letters_v3.indd 31
How much can you remember from this issue? Test your knowledge with our super-duper quiz. Just tick the answers you think are correct, mark them using the answers on page 34 and then add up your score. If you need some help, check out the hints at the bottom of the page. How many known planets are there in our solar system?
a) 8 b) 16 c) 24
What would y ou weigh on Mercury com pared to Eart h?
think What did Nicolaus Copernicus rse? was at the centre of the unive
a) The Earth b) The Sun c) A black hole
a) More b) Less c) The same
A hedgehogâ€™s varied diet means it isâ€Ś
a) A carnivore b) A herbivore c) An omnivore
If you were standing on Mars, what colour would the sky be?
a) Red b) Blue c) All the colours of the rainbow
trolled f a radio-con o t r a p h ic h W es and up radio wav s k ic p le ic h ve ? to a receiver passes them
motor a) The ser vo echanism m g in r e te s e h b) T na c) The anten
What is the region ar ound a star where planets could suppor t life known as ?
a) The Goldilock s zone b) The three bear s zone c) The big bad wolf zone
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Test your Mum/Dad/tortoise to
see what they know!
I’m reading a book about anti-gravity... it’s impossible to put down!
a) To make into cheese b) To use it in medicines c) To make them safe to handle
phere on What does the atmos ell like? Jupiter’s moon Io sm
What is Jupiter’s ‘G
a) Rot ten eggs b) Roses c) Nothing there is no smell
Why are robots ‘milking’ venom from scorpions?
reat Red Spot’?
a) A red sea b) A giant volcano c) A stor m
Gifford How has Dr Sheyna e for helped NASA prepar Mars? sending humans to
suitcases a) By pack ing their e for a year b) By living in a dom ew space suit c) By designing a n Which of Saturn’s moons did Cassini deliver the Huygens probe to?
Answers on page 34.
a) Mimas b) Enceladus c) Titan
1-4: Blast-off! 5-8: In orbit! 9-12: Intergalactic!
Need a hint? Find the answers by reading these pages… 1): Page 17 2): Page 12 3): Page 28
WPB028 P.32-33 Quiz.indd 2
4): Page 11 5): Page 8 6): Page 23
7): Page 15 8): Page 4 9): Page 26
10): Page 20 11): Page 8 12): Page 6
S E K O J
What should you do if you see a green alien?
Wait until it’s ripe!
What do planets like to read?
What do you do if you see a space man?
Park in it, man!
From Malachi Burnett, aged 7
Where do aliens go for a drink?
A Mars bar
Hey, how do you have a space party?
How does the Moon cut his hair?
Page 10 - True/Untrue True: Hedgehogs are very active, wandering around an area the size of up to 20 football pitches in search of a tasty meal.
Page 15 - True/Untrue
Page 24 - Crater Conundrum 10 2 1 4
7 4 1
10 7 6
The middle flight path leads to Earth.
6 7 9
Page 24 - Rocket Rendezvous
2 5 8
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Page 24 - Cosmic cryptogram 1) MERCURY 2) VENUS 3) JUPITER 4) SATURN 5) URANUS
Page 25 - Missing Planets 1) Jupiter 2) Earth 3) Saturn 4) Venus 5) Venus 6) Mars 7) Mars 8) Earth 9) Saturn Page 25 - Riddles 1) The letter e 2) A telescope 3) The Moon Page 29 - True/Untrue Untrue: Similar heliocentric models had been put forward by a few astronomers, including Aristarchus of Samos (310 BCE-230 BCE). But Copernicus’s model was more detailed and the mathematics led to more accurate results. Page 32-33 - Quiz 1) a 2) b 3) b 4) c
5) 6) 7) 8)
a c a b
1) True: It’s 100 km deep and four times bigger than Earth. Scientists aren’t sure what caused it! 2) Untrue: All planets are roughly spherical (remember?) but this one looks like a squashed egg! 3) Untrue: Exoplanet Kepler 16 b orbits two stars (complicated!). 4) True: Sedna is so distant from the Sun that its orbit takes a long time. Imagine waiting 11,400 years for your birthday!
9) a 10) c 11) b 12) c
Saturn and Titan
This image of Saturn, its rings and its moon Titan was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Saturn’s rings extend up to 282,000 km (175,000 miles) from the planet, but are typically only about 10 metres thick. In this side-on view, the rings are casting shadows across Saturn’s southern hemisphere. Titan is the largest of Saturn’s moons, with a diameter of 5,150 km (3,200 miles), making it larger than the planet Mercury. Titan has vortices of swirling gases in its atmosphere.
WPB028 P.34-35 Answers Spectacular Science.indd 2
Whizz Pop Bang
! E FOR KIDS
AGAZIN CIENCE M S E M O S E AW
THE AWESO ME SCIENC E MAGAZINE
rcaabr b a magictrialckscsien ce marve lous
Packed full of awesome science fun, Whizz Pop Bang is the perfect gift that keeps on giving, month after month!
ISSN 239 9-2840
Give the gift of science this Christmas
Have a magic Chr istmas everyone!
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OM ISSUE 29 TS PUZ ZLE S AMA ZIN G FAC TS SCIE NCE NEW S
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View our awesome Christmas offers at whizzpopbang.com/xmas WPB028 P.36 Back cover.indd 1
Whizz Pop Bang is an award-winning UK science magazine that makes science fun and engaging for children aged six to twelve (and their parent...
Published on Mar 21, 2018
Whizz Pop Bang is an award-winning UK science magazine that makes science fun and engaging for children aged six to twelve (and their parent...